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Effects of Cutting the Sacrospinous and Sacrotuberous Ligaments

: Hammer, N.; Höch, A.; Klima, S.; Joncour, J.B. le; Rouquette, C.; Ramezani, M.


Clinical anatomy 32 (2019), No.2, pp.231-237
ISSN: 0897-3806
ISSN: 1098-2353
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWU ()

The sacrospinous (SS) and sacrotuberous (ST) ligaments form a complex at the posterior pelvis, with an assumed role as functional stabilizers. Experimental and clinical research has yielded controversial results regarding their function, both proving and disproving their role as pelvic stabilizers. These findings have implications for strategies for treating pelvic injury and pain syndromes. The aim of the present simulation study was to assess the influence of altered ligament function on pelvis motion. A finite elements computer model was used. The two-leg stance was simulated, with the load of body weight applied via the fifth lumbar vertebra and both femora, allowing for nutation of the sacroiliac joint. The in-silico kinematics were validated with in-vitro experiments using the same scenario of load application following SS and ST transection in six human cadavers. Modeling of partial or complete ligament failure caused significant increases in pelvis motion. This effect was most pronounced if the SS and ST were affected with 164% and 182%, followed by the sacroiliac and iliolumbar ligaments with 123% and 147%, and the pubic ligaments with 113% and 119%, for partial and complete disruption, respectively. Simultaneous ligament transection multiplied the effects on pelvis motion by up to 490%. Unilateral ligament injury altered the motion at the pelvis contralaterally. The experiments presented here provide strong evidence for the stabilizing role of the SS and ST. A fortiori, the instability resulting from partial or complete SS and ST injury merits consideration in treatment strategies involving these ligaments as important stabilizers.